Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Au Pied de Cochon [Montreal]

Most agree that one visit to Au Pied de Cochon (The Pig's Foot) in Montreal is simply not enough. One visit will confirm your inability to sample enough of the menu, leaving you disappointed, overstuffed but underexperienced.

As Corey Mintz from the Toronto Star puts it:
"..This restaurant is the marriage of two dining philosophies, the North American obsession with disturbingly large portions and the French tradition of cooking with real ingredients not trademarked by malevolent agribusinesses"
Exterior following the trend of signless restaurants =)
Where: 536 Duluth Est
Montreal, QC
H2L 1A9
Price: $$$ ($189 (without tax) for 5 people)

Chef Martin Picard's cookbook lines the walls of the entrance

Rows of their delicious baguette

Very busy. This was on a Thursday night!

Small but crowded!

PDC logo

Napkin ring holders
They take these back (being green is good!)

Their bread is SO good. Got two loaves.....

Foie Gras Cromesquis ($3.50 for 2)
The waiter told us to wait a minute or two before popping the entire thing in our mouths. He also strongly advised to keep our mouths shut the entire time for good reason! When I bit into it, the entire thing exploded with hot, melted foie gras. Highly recommend if you are a newbie to foie gras!

Duck Carpaccio ($13) with mushrooms, egg yolk and aioli
We were advised to break the egg yolk then spread it around the entire dish before eating it.

I loved how delicate the carpaccio was with the mushroom and aioli.. Such a simple dish yet was the perfect starter to an otherwise heavy meal! It was also probably the "lightest" thing we got.. 

Zucchini Flowers ($6)
These are probably the only "vegetable"-like item you will order on the menu and trust me it's worth it. These squash blossoms are lightly deep fried with some salt - the perfect summer guilty pleasure. It came with house-made mayo, but you don't even need it because the batter was seasoned so nicely. Delicious!

**NOTE: These are only available in the summer!!

Foie Gras Poutine ($23)

This is the most Quebec-like dish I've had yet - duck fat fries, with rich and smooth gravy and generous amount of cheese curds and perfectly seared foie gras. The foie gras had a nice sear which melted away to a creamy, buttery texture. HEAVEN.

Plogue a Champlain ($26)
Basically, this dish has the best foods of Canada all on one plate. You have a buckwheat pancake topped with an egg, bacon, foie gras and aged cheese with a side of potatoes, all topped with sweet maple syrup reduction. Very rich, you'll fall in love with this very Canadian dish

Au Pied de Cochon ($23)

Of course how could we leave without trying a dish that the restaurant was named after? The Pied de Cochon was a delightful mess of pig's foot, polenta, a deep fried duck-meat cube and onions, and tomatoes.

The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the polenta was the best I've ever had. 

Duck in a Can ($43)
The moment we were waiting for.. Picard's infamous dish, Duck in a Can!

Duck in a Can ($43)
Duck in a Can is Martin Picard's signature dish. The can actually has all the exact ingredients (100g of foie gras, sprigs of rosemary, etc) and sounds seemingly easy to make but I do not even have an once of faith in myself that I can replicate something as amazing as this. Just the concept alone is unlike any other - gourmet food served in a can?! But what the can is really meant for is locking in the moisture and flavour until one lucky person chooses it! It was delicious by the way :)

PDC's very own can!

Sugar pie for 2 ($10)
To finish off, we got the Sugar Pie!
My parents actually had to take a walk around the block before coming back in to finish the pie - yes, the meal was THAT filling. The sugar pie was delicious - topped with cream with a flaky, buttery crust and a sugary- custard.

One tip for future goers:
Focus, energy and appetite must be maintained for a visit to PDC. The amount of meat, fat, sugar and salt will absolutely astound, overwhelm and satisfy you to no end. If you don't like meat, don't bother coming here!! We were stuffed til the next day from how heavy this meal was..

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